Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
So we didn't have an IUI this month, but I'm still feeling pretty positive. We triggered on Friday night and tried our best with timed intercourse, which was tough because we drove a collective 12-14 hours this weekend and didn't find out we needed to do timed intercourse until the last possible moment. I also had a reaction to the HCG injection - a big red raised area of skin at the injection site that was painful to the touch. That freaked me out, but it seems to be mostly gone now.
And now we wait - more HCG today and Thursday, and progesterone starting Thursday (but NOT PIO, thank goodness!). HPT on Easter - I'm hoping that's a good sign! I'm really only 1 day into the 2ww. I'm so impatient.
But the real issue is that my husband really wanted to go surfing this weekend since we were near the beach. Neither of us can surf, we've only tried it once, and although it's California and pretty warm, it's still March and it wasn't exactly summer-like weather. There weren't a lot of waves, either, which apparently meant that there were more rocks exposed (I don't get that, but whatever). At one point, I jumped off the board and landed on a rock with my right foot. My right knee has a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) from a skiing accident two years ago. When I landed on the rock, my knee buckled to the side, and now I'm gimpy again. After going through a long period of rehab when this happened the first time and only now getting really back into shape, I'm not at all happy about this. I'm also in pain, and pretty uncomfortable, which makes sleeping quite difficult, so I'm a bit tired and cranky, too.
One of the reasons I kept putting off having reconstructive surgery the first time around was that I was planning to get pregnant and I thought it would be best to wait until after I had kids. (Hahahahaha). So now I need to go to the orthopedist and see what to do. Surgery? Custom knee brace? Just wait and let things try to heal on their own?
Friday, March 27, 2009
Just got back from the RE, and the news was … unexpected. I have two eggs on the right that are ready to go (I think they were 24x22, and 22x21) and one on the left that might make it or might not (around 16x16).
The problem is, we will be out of town for a wedding this weekend, and I expected the IUI to be Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately, the doctor said it really should be Sunday or we risk the eggs going on their own, before the trigger, because of that biggest one. We’ll be at a wedding in
The doctor gave us three options in her order of preference –
- Do the trigger tonight and come in Sunday morning (driving back during the night Saturday, I guess? That would be REALLY hard - it's a 6-7 hour drive)
- Do the trigger tonight and try the old-fashioned way (since we’re unexplained, well, that might not really be a problem – I guess I will probably just worry about hostile mucus)
- Wait to do the trigger tomorrow and do an IUI on Monday, risking the eggs releasing on their own and missing it.
The doctor said that she wouldn’t miss the wedding or ruin the weekend for the IUI, and I think she’s talked us into option #2. I really hope we don’t regret it.
I would love to get opinions from anyone who’s reading (feel free!), but it will probably be too late to actually help me, since we are about to hop into the car to head to Santa Barbara, and I don’t know if I’ll have internet for the weekend.
Still … what would you do?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monitoring ultrasound tomorrow!! It’s only CD 11, but it is 4 days after my last Clomid pill, which is the same as last time. I definitely like this schedule better, since it makes my cycle slightly shorter. Less wait time makes me happy. Plus it feels more natural to try to time ovulation for CD 14 rather than 15 or 16.
I’m crossing my fingers for at least one big follicle, and hopefully more. I saw this on another blog and realized that it’s true for me, too – this is my last chance to have a baby in 2009. I hope I’m not getting my hopes up too high.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
At this moment I am having the worst possible morning. Click on back and have a look at THIS post, and read all about the ways that Sutter Davis is screwing us royally in relation to the HSG we had. Then click on THIS post and read about yet another way that Sutter Davis, in conjunction with Radiological Associates of Sacramento, is screwing us even more.
To summarize and bring you up to date – Sutter quoted us $650 for our HSG and offered us a 40% discount for paying up front; a second $1400 bill arrived from Sutter a week or so later, and a $1600 bill arrived from RAS shortly after that. So our $400 discounted procedure was now costing us well over $3000. I argued with RAS, who said the cash price was $800 and offered to let us pay that.
I called Sutter and disputed and they logged in a complaint. Yesterday I got a letter saying the complaint was resolved, and I should call their billing office (which has ridiculously short business hours). I called this morning and was told that we would have to pay, that the quote they gave us was just an estimate (which was, whoops! WAY OFF) and that we had only paid for the X-rays, not the “injection” and “monitoring”, which cost $1400. That brings the grand total of our HSG to around $2600. I called back and logged another complaint, but I’m not expecting anything different.
I’m trying to formulate a plan for what to do next. My OBGYN (who I’m not fond of right now) thought the cost was ridiculous, so I will probably ask her for a letter. I’m requesting a written decision from the billing office, and I will then write them a letter about shady business practices, taking advantage of people, and lying. Not to mention that the bill they sent me doesn’t say a word about injection and monitoring.
How can this keep happening? We’re trying to do everything right. I just want to cry.
No wonder the health care system in our country is going to hell.
(P.S. I just wanted to add that this is all a dispute with the hospital, and insurance is not involved. It's my hospital, who I would have to trust my health, my life, and the life of my family, that is treating us this way. How awful is that?)
Monday, March 23, 2009
After a week of beautiful weather, it got cold, rainy, and windy this weekend (of course today is bright and sunny again, go figure). I spent Saturday at home doing chores, and then we threw an impromptu dinner party which made a huge mess of our kitchen but which was a lot of fun.
Sunday though – that was the kicker. It almost killed me. I haven’t talked much about my relationship with my mother, and I don’t want to go into it much because then I start whining and I hate it when I whine. We don’t get along well – she’s a very difficult person, spoiled, demanding, controlling, manipulative, and so on. She hates my sister-in-law and makes my brother’s life miserable because of it. She also thinks that it’s the duty of her children to drive to her house (a 45-minute drive for me) whenever she wants and do anything she demands, and if anyone of use refuses (2 out of 3 isn’t enough) the ones who do come get to hear her complain about the ones who didn’t come the whole time.
I know things aren't the way she wants them - my father died quite a few years ago, and her behavior tends to drive everyone else away. And yes, I do feel bad for her and very guilty that her life has turned out this way. Unfortunately, she also feels bad for herself and wallows in her self-pity, pushing guilt trips as hard as she can to try to get people to pay attention to her. It makes any time spent with her very, very stressful.
So to try to make this long story just a bit shorter, I went over there this weekend to clean, in the hopes that she will try to sell her humongous house and move into something more reasonable. In the midst of cleaning her house while she more or less sat there and watched us, she brought up that she really wishes L and I would have a baby.
Keep in mind that L and I took her to lunch LAST SUMMER to tell her we’d been trying for about 8 months and we were having some trouble, but we were going to start investigating and we’d tell her when we had news. (And by news I meant a pregnancy announcement – no way is she going to know every step of the process).
I’ll try to remember the gist of the conversation from that point onward:
Mom: I want to know when you and L are having a baby, you ARE still planning to, right?
Me: Um, yes. We told you that.
Mom: I know, but it’s been a while. I want another grandchild.
Me: You already have two.
Mom: I know, I love A (my nephew – she never says she loves my niece – nice), but he needs someone to give him a rivalry.
Me: He has a sister you know.
Mom: She doesn’t rival him, and anyway she loves him, too. He needs a little cousin.
Me: Well, I can’t really do anything about that. You should be happy you have two grandchildren.
Mom: I want my daughter to have a child.
Me: (almost crying by this point)
Mom: I am going to say something and you’re going to get mad (yes, she really says this, all the time).
Me: Maybe you shouldn’t say it then.
Mom: (I can tell she wants to say it, acting like she didn’t hear me) What?
Me: Fine, what do you want to say?
Mom: I think that sometimes when women are really active they have trouble getting pregnant, you know, like in the Olympics (THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME SHE’S BROUGHT THIS UP)(and I’m not exactly an Olympic athlete).
Me: (Sigh). I don’t think that’s the problem – I am in decent shape but I don’t work out that much. You know what actually DOES cause infertility? STRESS. Like you calling me EVERY DAY to complain about my sister-in-law and all your other problems. (Yikes, shouldnt' have said that, probably).
Yeah, things didn’t go so well. She was upset that I blamed her for my problems (even though she had just finished blaming me), not that I completely blame her, I don’t blame anyone. I just know my life would be a lot easier without all the stress caused by her.
ANYWAY - Today is my LAST DAY of Clomid! Monitoring ultrasound on Friday, IUI early next week if all goes well!
Friday, March 20, 2009
ANYway. I've started the Clomid, last night, I'm not even worrying about side effects this time. If they happen, ok, if they don't, fantastic. It really doesn't matter. I just want this to work so badly.
I haven't even started considering IVF yet and I already feel like a drug queen - this round I'm taking three different drugs using three different methods.
One thing I liked about the last IUI was that for the first half of the cycle, things were so busy. Remembering to take the Clomid, going in for the ultrasounds, doing the HCG shot, then doing the IUI. Then for another 4 or 5 days I was preoccupied with more HCG shots, but then ... nothing. It was like just hanging in space, wondering, trying to pretend I wasn't waiting for something in order to make the waiting more bearable.
Not that almost anyone reading this needs a description of the 2ww.
Anyway, besides the obvious reason that I'm happy about the progesterone because I'm hoping it will make a difference and cover more bases and maybe be the magical thing we've been missing, I'm also happy that I'll have have something to DO during the 2ww. I'll feel like I'm somehow contributing, helping things along, keeping myself busy.
I'll probably also be more pissed off and depressed if it doesn't work. Because what the hell, what in the world do you want from me?! (<----you = the universe)
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
The ultrasound went fine, which was a relief. I told the doctor about the spotting and she prescribed progesterone suppositories (thank GOD not injections, don’t think I could have handled that). She also told me to start taking the Clomid on Thursday, CD 3, and my next ultrasound is CD 11. I’m pretty happy to be taking care of things a bit earlier this time around.
Not that the doctor has mentioned her reasoning for any of this. When she sets up my appointments, she sounds so laid-back, it almost sounds like she’s coming up with these ideas out of thin air, like “Hey, I know! Why don’t we do another ultrasound next Friday?” I feel really lucky that I’ve done so much internet researching and blog-reading to know that what she’s doing seems right. I’d hate to constantly be second-guessing my doctor.
So anyway, I didn’t want to drive back to work after the appointment, and I ended up spending several hours working in my vegetable garden. Which was great, even though it’s really too late in the season to be planting some of the things I was planting, but I don’t care. Then I swung by my friend’s apartment, the same friend I keep bringing up in past blog posts, who is pregnant and who I finally told about our problems b/c she and her husband kept putting pressure on us to have kids.
She told me she had something for me, and gestured for me to follow her to their bedroom. Then she gave me (lent me, actually) a beautiful wooden statue of a woman, and said that it was a fertility statue a friend of hers had brought from Africa for her as a gift. She said she didn’t know if it would help, but it couldn’t hurt. I was so touched. It feels great to have someone on my side, who’s rooting for us in real life as well as all the people in the computer.
(A little note to my IRL friend P, who reads here, it’s great to have your support too!)
So thank you to all of you who read, comment, or just think good thoughts for me. I hope I’m being supportive of the rest of the infertility (and related) community, too.
And now I'm ready for Clomid Round 2.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Of course I'm excited to start IUI #2, but I have to wonder, as always, WTF?! Why can't we do this on our own? We tried plenty of times during the right time period this last month. Why can't they find something wrong with us? What are we missing?
I called and scheduled my baseline u/s for this afternoon. It was weird, they asked if we are doing another Clomid cycle, and I was like, um, yes? Am I supposed to decide that? You guys are the medical people. You tell me!
I mentioned that I had been spotting since Friday, but I don't know how seriously they took it. Needless to say, I'll bring it up at the appointment this afternoon.
So now I have 4 weeks of fun to look forward to - Clomid, injections, ultrasounds, a catheter, and my favorite thing ever (not) - the 2ww!
Please, please, please let it work this time.
Monday, March 16, 2009
First, I got my socks from my sock buddy! They are super awesome, but I'm not going to post about them now because I'm waiting until the official day.
Friday night was tons of fun, wine-tasting at a new winery in my town then out to dinner with a huge group of friends and then playing pool. Well, I didn't play pool, I just watched and tried not to fall asleep until my poor husband took me home. The Saturday morning farmer's market and trip to IKEA were great, and I spent the rest of the weekend putting together furniture, reorganizing closets, and making my apartment look all spiffy.
One of the things I've been wanting to do was to buy a new bookshelf in order to clean out the armoire we keep in our office. In my head, I figured that if we ever happen to have a baby while we're still living in our little apartment (knock on wood), the armoire would be perfect for storing stuff. Except that it's been completely full of books, photos, computer paper, and whatever else I needed to cram in there (hello, sharps container). We bought an absolutely MASSIVE bookshelf at IKEA (it really didn't look that big in the store) and now the armoire is on its way to being empty.
Does cleaning out furniture for possible future baby stuff that I haven't yet bought count as jinxing myself? I certainly wouldn't dream of actually buying anything yet! I swear!
The only troubling aspect of the weekend was the spotting I experience on Friday night and Saturday. CD 24 and 25. I normally spot the two days before my period, which would be Sunday and Monday, or Monday and Tuesday, depending on whether my cycle is 27 or 28 days (it varies). So this was 2-3 days early.
What's up with that? Is it normal to spot 4-5 days before your period? I'm confused, and I don't know if I should do anything. Certainly when I get my period in a day or two, and call the RE to set up my baseline u/s, I'll mention it. I'm just wondering if this could be a symptom of something wrong that wouldn't be picked up by one of the tests I've done. I certainly don't seem to have had as much bloodwork and hormone testing as many of the other infertile women whose blogs I read (I had one blood test, last September, that was around CD 21, and that was it - my doctor said I showed "strong ovulation"). If anyone is reading this and has any ideas, please let me know!
Thanks! Happy Monday!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Every Friday I think that I’ve never been happier. Work is bringing me down these days, it’s tough to sit in this cubicle at this desk when the weather is getting so beautiful outside! Sure it’s still really, really cold in the morning – I could see my breath the other day. But it’s supposed to be almost 70 this afternoon and the last place I want to be is at work!
I’ve almost not been home this week because of the dinners and events we’ve been invited to in the evenings. I’ve been trying out the gym near my office at lunch, because despite the best-laid plans, I just can’t seem to get regular workouts done after work. I don’t have enough time to really get a whole workout in at lunch, but half of a workout is much better than nothing. And working out makes me feel so much better about myself.
I’m looking forward to a weekend of rock climbing, dinner with friends, the farmer’s market tomorrow morning, IKEA (!!!), my garden, and hopefully some quality outdoorsy time with my husband. (Oh yeah, and some housework and a little bit of work for his company, but we won’t think about that).
Only 6.5 hours to go until I get out of jail!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We went to dinner at a friend’s apartment on Monday night, the same friends who I’ve mentioned before in the previous post and this other post. They recently ended their first trimester and have been so excited to tell everyone about their pregnancy. They’ve also been sort of asking every couple they know if they’re considering starting a family yet. I’ve gotten the feeling that they’re hoping at least a few friends might want to have kids on the same timeline as they are.
I feel like I’ve been very understanding of their excitement and I’m honestly very happy for them. We haven’t been very open with our IF struggles, so only a few of our friends know about it, and those who do are not even close to trying to get pregnant at this point in their lives, so I’m not sure they really truly understand what we’re going through. When our newly pregnant friends asked again, with both me and L there, if we’re going to start a family soon, L said to me, “It’s not really a secret, you can tell them.”
Of course they got all excited thinking we were going to tell them we were pregnant (after I had drunk like half a bottle of wine, right), but then they felt really, really bad. I felt bad for making them feel bad, since they started to realize that they’d perhaps said a lot of things that could have been tough for me/us. But they were really nice and supportive and well … I’m nervous about what might happen next. Will they avoid us? Will they have more compassion for me and more thoughtfulness about what other people might be going through? How will it affect our friendship – in the short term, but also in the long term if we don’t get pregnant?
I would have thought the wife would have been completely aware of the impact of IF in other people’s lives, considering that she works in the health industry as an educator (and was actually a sexual health educator, although I think she dealt with college students and tried to prevent pregnancy and STDs). I guess you learn (or realize) something new every day.
So now I have to keep deciding who we tell and who we don’t tell, and eventually (hopefully, cross my fingers) if we get pregnant we’ll have to decide whether to confide that we experienced IF, or just not say anything at all (not that I would deny it if anyone asked, for sure, I just don’t know if it’s relevant for everyone to know).
In other news - only 6-7 days left until IUI cycle #2!
Monday, March 9, 2009
The hardest part about the weekend was the constant talk about babies and pregnancy. At the book club meeting, the host asked who would like wine, and my pregnant friend (from this blog post) said “Well, I’d like wine” and patted her stomach. Sigh.
Then at dinner after the bridal shower, the talk turned to having babies and infertility and when people would start trying or even whether they wanted to have kids at all. I stayed out of the conversation entirely until focus turned on me completely (since I wasn’t talking) and people started asking me “What about you and L, do you guys think you’d ever want kids? Who wants them more, you or L? When do you think you’ll start trying?” I made some excuses and tried to answer as truthfully as I could (i.e., we agree about wanting to have kids, we don't really know when we'll have them). I wanted to just say “leave me alone!”
It made me realize how completely clueless I was before this happened to me, so I can’t really be upset with anyone, because that’s how I would have behaved. I'm certainly learning a LOT about compassion.
Anyway, that’s behind me now. Only one week (and a bit more maybe?) to go before we start IUI cycle #2!
Check out everyone else's Show and Tell here.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Luckily, this weekend will be crazy busy, too – tonight I have a book club meeting, tomorrow an all-day bridal shower/bachelorette party, and Sunday night I’m taking my mom to dinner, which leaves me only Sunday morning and afternoon to do all my chores and hopefully squeeze in a nice long bike ride.
Unfortunately, next week is looming long and empty at this point, which will not make things easy, but I’m hoping to join a gym to start swimming, and with the nice weather we should be having I’ll hopefully be able to get out to the garden a few times after work.
One other thing that I have to worry about is that my identical twin sister recently found skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) on her face, and now I’m noticing what I thought was a pimple that doesn’t seem to be going away on my own face. I’m starting to be a little worried, and this is definitely something I do NOT need while I’m also dealing with infertility. I’m making a mental note to call the dermatologist next week if it doesn’t go away.
Well, so as not to end on a bad note, happy weekend everyone!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I am constantly reminded by people of how “young” I am. I know I look young for my age, and my husband looks young for his age (especially when he bothers to shave). I know a lot of infertiles are in their upper 30s or 40s. I know PLENTY of (fertile) people wait until their 30s to have children, and that in this day and age it is considered quite young to have a baby in your early 20s. When I twist my way of thinking back to the way it was 15 months ago (before infertility), 29 does not seem at all old to start ttc. I certainly didn’t feel ready before then.
Now here I am, 30 years old, more than halfway to 31. If it takes us a while longer to get pregnant, I will quite possibly be at least 32 by the time I give birth. (I won’t even consider the possibility that things might not work out at all – I am still too hopeful for that). If we decide to have any more children, it’s quite possible we won’t get around to that until I am at least (gasp) around 35. Which, as you well know, is a REALLY scary age for fertility. AND I AM ONLY 4.5 YEARS AWAY.
I have been theoretically capable of carrying a child for FIFTEEN YEARS, and now I’m only 4.5 YEARS AWAY from reaching The Age At Which It All Apparently Goes To Hell.
Which raises the question – WHAT THE HELL HAVE I BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS?!?!
And then the next question – WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT ALL THIS?!?!
Out of my 20 years of relatively reasonable “fertility”, I have squandered three quarters of it. And considering that even before the “magical” age of 35, fertility is already decreasing, I now understand that I have squandered the BEST three quarters of it, and the dwindling quarter that’s left is starting to look rather shabby.
I know I need to step back and get a bit of perspective here. But does anyone else agree that perhaps in high school sex ed, in addition to warning the kids that:
“JUST ONE TIME WITHOUT A CONDOM will CAUSE A PREGNANCY and therefore RUIN YOUR LIFE”
we can include a little small-print caveat (pick one! Or make up your own!):
- Or maybe not!
- *results not guaranteed
- *this absolute rule gradually loses effectiveness with age (even though of course you will never get old).
- but don’t wait too long, because you never really know what could happen!
Not, of course, that I would have ever expected to be infertile. Ah well.
For starters, I puked violently after the first dose, forcing my friend's parent to pull over the minivan in which we were driving on our way to a day of skiing at Tahoe so I could be miserable by the side of the road. I took that as a sign that the medication was probably no longer in my stomach, which indicated I needed to take it again. I no longer recall how long I was sick due to those pills, although I do seem to remember enjoying at least part of a sunny afternoon in the mountains. It was rather uncomfortable to have everyone worrying about me, wondering whether it was the flu, or motion sickness, or something I ate, when I knew exactly what it was the whole time, but was not at liberty to say. I grew up quickly that day.
That little lesson made a huge impression on me. It made me even more wary of my relationship with my now-ex (a relationship I finally ended at least 6 months later, not having had the spine to say "no" to way too many things until I left for college). It made me wary of the choices I was making in my life, or rather the choices I was letting other people make for me. It definitely made me think about having children, at least to the extent that my naivete allowed (being from a small family, I had no experience with pregnant women or babies outside of occasional babysitting). It also reinforced, as it would with any young girl that age in our society, the lesson I had learned from school and church and parents and everyone else that JUST ONE MISTAKE could RUIN MY LIFE. That a baby is an unwanted thing, and that ceasing to be vigilant for 10 minutes would automatically produce one.
Getting older and growing wiser and a lot more aware managed to only partially change my thinking. I began to understand that a baby is NOT an unwanted thing, but a blessing and one of the greatest joys in life. Somehow, I didn't make the connection that due to the sacred status of creating a new life, it might not be so easy as ceasing to be vigilant for 10 minutes.
Of course, after my first incredibly disappointing month of ttc, I've progressed through all the stages most infertiles go through (based on my own opinion), and I'm currently at the one that I think we tend to fall back on frequently - bitterness.
UNLIKE many other infertiles, I so far don't blame myself. I don't think my wishing and hoping and praying not to be pregnant when I was 17 years old caused God to curse me now. I certainly don't think that I'm being punished for being less than perfect, for making the wrong choices in life, for not being religious and going to church, or for anything else. (Despite this, I DO find myself sometimes bargaining with God or the Great Being or whoever, promising to be a better person if I can just get pregnant).
No, I think this is all random luck, just as the person who gets cancer or suffers a miscarriage did not in any way do anything to bring bad luck upon herself. Whether it's random luck that we cannot seem to get pregnant for unknown reasons, or random luck that there actually IS something wrong with one or both of us that modern medicine cannot detect - either way, I think it's random.
Unfortunately, I also think it's damn unfair.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Anyway, it was a nice trip, minus a few little problems. There is not a lot to think about fertility-wise for the moment. We’re not actively trying this month in the sense that we’re not charting, using OPKs, taking medications, or undergoing any sort of fertility treatment, although we ARE keeping half an eye on the calendar just to try to cover our bases (which I guess WOULD be actively trying for fertile people).
Trying VERY hard not to get ANY hopes up for this cycle, since so far our statistics show that we have a 0% chance of getting pregnant. Instead, I’m trying to envision how excited I will be to start IUI #2 when AF arrives.
AF should arrive, and therefore IUI #2 should begin, around March 17-18, which gives me a whole new 2ww. Lovely. Since I’m SO good at waiting.
In the meantime – rain, bridal showers, getting back to life as usual, and a new goal to get in even better shape so I can kick ass in a triathlon this summer, should IUI #2 and whatever comes after not work.